22 Aug Faith at Work – August 2022
This month’s “Faith at Work” featured priest is one whose journey to priesthood started as long ago as it did far away! Fr. Jean-Marie Nsambu was born in Kampala, Uganda where he grew up in the suburb of Mbuya. At the young age of 16, Fr. Jean-Marie joined the seminary at his high school in Kisubi but ended up leaving the seminary when transferring to a different high school completely. Upon completion of his high school education, he went to the International Institute for Media and Business Studies and graduated in 1996 with a degree in Journalism. He then went on to become an Attorney at Law in 2006. Later, after completing a Masters of Art degree in International Relations and Diplomatic Studies, Fr. Jean-Marie relocated to the United States.
Despite this robust world of education and business, Fr. Jean-Marie’s call to priesthood still remained, and he joined the Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana. In 2017, he graduated with a Masters of Divinity and was officially ordained a priest on June 3, 2017 — a date he takes much pride in as it’s the day the Uganda Martyrs Charles Lwanga and his Companions are memorialized, one of which he was actually named after.
Fr. Jean-Marie’s desire to serve as a priest began long before his many years devoted to his education. As a young child, he witnessed the Comboni priests serving at his local church — even during the most tyrannical and violent times. It was that devotion and dedication to their vocation, despite the constant threat of danger in the area, that sparked Fr. Jean-Marie’s interest. Fr. Jean-Marie shared that the missionaries, “stayed to keep our hope alive, until better times dawned.”
Today, Fr. Jean-Marie has carried that example of dedication with him as he currently serves as pastor of Holy Savior Catholic Church in Lockport, Louisiana. And although Fr. Jean-Marie has a divine calling, he also has a lot in common with ordinary lay-people — he loves country music and folk songs, especially from artists such as Hank Williams, Charlie Pride, and Dolly Parton. He loves taking a good afternoon nap and playing soccer. When asked about his relationship to and with lay people, Fr. Jean-Marie also shared, “to serve them better, and more effectively, the priest needs the support of the laypersons. That is what one may call love; the priest loving his congregation, the people entrusted to him, and the people loving him as their shepherd.”
When it comes to his involvement with the Catholic Foundation of South Louisiana, it was when our Foundation first reached out to him in support of his church parish that it became clear where his parish needed support in order to better assist his congregation. Through Foundation grants and efforts to assist in increasing parish income, his church parish has benefited and is continuing to push forward.
Fr. Jean-Marie is currently working with our Foundation on a campaign to grow their Sunday collections. In addition, Holy Savior Catholic Church is participating in the Annual Bishop’s Appeal and iGiveCatholic campaigns.
Thank you Fr. Jean-Marie for your dedication to our diocese and the mission of the Catholic Foundation! If you are interested in the work the Catholic Foundation is doing within our community and want to get involved, please take a look around our website, give us a call at 985-850-3116, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.